Conditional: (adj) subject to one or more conditions or requirements being met

There are certain things you cannot do in America:

You cannot be mean to your puppy on Main Street.

You certainly cannot suggest that the red, white and blue color scheme of the flag clashes.

And you risk life and limb if you even whisper that the phrase “unconditional love” was invented in the office of a pop psychologist and immediately adopted by Hallmark Cards.

Any mortal who wears skin, pumps blood and allows that circulation to reach his or her brain, is fully aware that we need love to have some conditions.

When left to ourselves and told that we’re “fine the way we are”–that the affection offered in our direction is not contingent on some facets of our behavior–we become tyrants.

Especially comical is the notion that our Creator–God–would extend such a gift to His creation, considering that He is fully aware of both our heavenly potential funny wisdom on words that begin with a C
and our notorious naughtiness.

That is why the Good Book is full of “if and then’s.”

“If you do this, then you will get this…”

  • If you have faith, you can move mountains.
  • If you believe, you will be saved.
  • If you are generous, it will be measured back to you.
  • If you judge, it will be metered at you with the same intensity.

Though we want to convey the depth of our emotion and appreciation for one another, it is certainly devious to suggest that our human feelings are not conditional. If they were not conditional, we couldn’t be of help to one another.

After all, sometimes a certain amount of intervention is necessary to get our mate out of bed to go to work. At that point, he or she might insist that we do not love them. Nothing could be further from the truth.

We just know that if they go to work, we can go out to dinner on Friday night and actually afford an appetizer.


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Mr. Kringle's Tales...26 Stories 'Til Christmas

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Cologne: (n) scented toilet water or aftershave.

Just for the record (and if my vote counts) I firmly believe that all toilet water should be scented. I don’t know what other purpose the water
would have if it was out of its bowl, if it was not scented.

And I, for one, believe human beings are better if they smell good.

That may be because I’ve always been a portly fellow and greatly feared the stereotype of “all fat people stink.”

In other words, I don’t want some cloud of “p.u.” to descend on me in a moment when my deodorant is in retreat, my soap sniff has disappeared and my cologne is totally exhausted.

Without being too graphic, I put cologne everywhere. I don’t know why. There are places it seems unnecessary. In other words, not a normally high-traffic area. However, those regions are notorious for sprouting aromas which are generally deemed unpleasant.

So part of my morning ritual is to “smell up”–so that later on I don’t have to “smell down.”

I’ve been very fortunate. I’ve developed a reputation for nose approval.

I’m sure I’ve overdone it. For instance, folks should not be able to “smell you coming,” yet I have had people identify me from another room, knowing I was present long before they eyeballed me.


I also mix fragrances of cologne–once again, depending on the different parts of the body, a splash may work somewhere and more expensive stuff to don the face.

I must acknowledge at this point that I have already overworked this subject. Possibly I lost your attention a couple of paragraphs ago.

You may think I am paranoid about any type of normal human body odor. You would be correct.

I am not trying to evangelize my obsession with cologne. I have met people who hate it, and some who even insist they are allergic.

But until future notice, I will be an island of fragrance instead of a land of “stinky poo.”


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by J. R. Practix

dictionary with letter A

Acclaim: (n) praise enthusiastically and publicly.

You know what the problem is with “acclaim?” To achieve it you really need to make a claim on something and follow through to completion–and probably even excellence.

After all, when we begin to acclaim EVERYTHING as great, NOTHING is great. And if we acclaim things that are actually poor, trying to convince the public they are adequate, we end up with a very sarcastic populace.

So to a certain degree, acclaim is unnecessary, because if you’ve already made a claim and followed through, you are reaping the benefits and don’t need any other stamp of approval.

So there is a certain amount of dishonesty that goes into requiring acclaim. This is personified by the actor or actress at the Academy Awards who insists that it’s an “honor to be nominated by my peers.”

Supposedly it is a great boost to one’s ego to receive acclaim from those in the same profession or who possess similar motivations. But honestly, when you get to the end of a movie and you’ve played your part, if you have half a brain you pretty well know if you did your job, and the opinion you have of your own performance is much more accurate and important.

So in the pursuit of acclaim, we have made some people famous in this country who should never have left the print of their local, small-town Register.

And nowadays, of course, it’s very possible to achieve acclaim by being notorious instead of glorious.

I am suspicious of acclaim. I will go further. I am aggravated by what our society touts as worthy of “honorable mention.”

If you don’t mind, I just think I will make my own personal claims, follow through on them, discover the rewards included and enjoy a reward ceremony of my OWN making–with the trophy being a sense of satisfaction.


by J. R. Practix

dictionary with letter A

Accident: (n) an unfortunate incident that happens unexpectedly and unintentionally, typically resulting in damage or injury.

All four of my naturally born sons and three young men who I adopted and took into my home … were accidents.

At least, that’s the word I normally use, although when I look at the definition I find that I have been misstating the facts. These seven children were certainly not unfortunate. They also gave me no damage or injury, ide from a few nights of raised blood pressure over unkempt rooms and notorious behavior.

But they WERE accidents. I didn’t plan them. Some people take great pride in the fact that they plotted families, insisting that wanting to have a child is much more noble than acquiring one in the heat of passion, without awareness.

But I think the word “accident” is very important–because how we respond to accidents, or events beyond our expectation and control–really determines the depth of our character and in many cases, the extent of our success.

I learned a long time ago that life is not impressed with my plans nor intimidated by my energetic motivations. Life has its own agenda and pushes that forward to find out if anybody can survive the mold on their daily bread. Some people just do better with mold. Flemming, for instance, found a way to turn it into penicillin. I, myself, will not throw away a slice of bread because it has mold on it. I just cut away the green. (Yuk, right?)

But using that mind set, I have learned to take the good with the bad and salvage from it something worthy of proceeding.

I would not remind my children that they were accidents–but I’ve never lied to them, either. My first son was conceived on the grass next to a horse pasture after my senior prom. That has a certain amount of charm, doesn’t it? The exact locations of the other accidental impregnations are not clear to me–I’m sure none are quite as dramatic as the “horsing around” in the grass.

But none of them were planned. And the three young men who came into my house in later years, absorbed and adopted as sons, were just as bewildered by their presence in my home as I was in taking on my second batch of human cookie dough. Accidents are a good thing … IF we change the definition from “occasions of injury” to “our new reality.” The longer we resist change, the more devastating it seems. The sooner we realize that what has happened to us is not an accident, but a by-product of a whole collage of circumstances, the better off we become.

  • No one was ever cured of cancer by denying it.
  • No one ever became a great artist by refusing to paint.
  • And no one ever moves forward until they stop looking at what has happened to them as a turn for the worse.

I had seven accidents in my life which are all now fine, grown young men. That’s pretty good.

Maybe that’s what the insurance companies mean by “accident forgiveness.”



by J. R. Practix

dictionary with letter A

Access: (n.) 1. means of approaching of entering a place 2. the right to use or benefit from 3. the right or opportunity to approach or see someone 4. the action or process of obtaining or retrieving information stored in a computer’s memory 5. the condition of being able to be reached or obtained.

Here we go again.

Over and over, we see the same stupid procedure utilized by seemingly intelligent men and women when confronted with the inadequacy of their performance. For some reason or another, people find it difficult to simply say, “I screwed up.”

Nearly every President throughout our history has suffered from some sort of scandal–not because error occurred, but mainly generated by the back-pedaling and lying initiated after the fact.

I am not positive at what age we begin to hide inside our shells and “turtle” our emotions and motivations away from the world around us. It certainly isn’t when we’re little kids. I remember when I was a child, I embarrassed my parents by walking out holding my own turd in my hand to explain to them that I had failed to make it all the way to the bathroom. Much to their dismay, this presentation was acted out in front of some clients they were trying to impress. It wasn’t that I was proud of my offering on that day–it was simply that I was naive enough to believe that it was essential to give my parents access to every part of my life–even misplaced bowel movements.

It must have been some time in my teens when it seemed more prudent to cover up my mistakes with lies and excuses, which I apparently succeeded in pulling off enough times that I thought I could pursue it as a lifestyle.

We can’t.

Although I agree that complete transparency might be optimistic, being the FIRST one to admit your failures is an advantage that God grants only to the wisest confessors. Once you are found out by strangers, you are at the mercy of their discretion. That’s frightening.

What would I tell the President if I were his advisor? Find out immediately where you had ANY tie-in with these existing difficulties–or KNEW anyone who had a link–and release the information as quickly as possible.

Certainly your enemies will have a heyday over the stupidity–but not as much as they will over the notorious disguise of the facts.

I love to write a daily blog because it gives me the chance to access the truth in my soul and give you access to it, before you independently discover what a dim-witted idiot I can be from time to time.

Yes, I will be so bold as to tell you that the only way to look smart in this world is to point out when you’re stupid. If you wait for the jury to come in, you will never be able to negotiate a plea bargain, and often, each one of us is careless enough that we must throw ourselves on the mercy of the court.